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Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

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ArizonaMike
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Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#1

Post by ArizonaMike » Sun Oct 10, 2004 8:59 pm

Hi everyone,

Just got my rebuilt '62 running and I went through about 2 quarts of oil in 50 miles! My mechanic said this is normal until the motor breaks itself in. Is he correct?
Later I plan to change to a primary belt. Could the breather line from the case be routed back to the the top of the oil tank for a drip-free operation? Is there enough pressure from the engine for this to work?
Another person said I could clamp shut most of the breather tube from the case. Would this still let the motor breathe?
With this much of an oil loss, wouldn't this over-oil the rear chain in routed there? Please help. Thanks in advance for all suggestions.



Jack_Hester
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#2

Post by Jack_Hester » Mon Oct 11, 2004 12:51 am

Mike -

I'm interested to hear what others have to say on this. I've never built/rebuilt an engine that has this kind of oil consumption on break-in. That's not to say it won't happen. But, it's not normal, in my book.

Jack

Andy
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#3

Post by Andy » Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:10 am

Wow!!! 64oz's of oil in 50 miles. That's more than an ounce per mile. It must be smoking out the exhaust. Are the plugs clean after 50 miles? If it's not smoking is the primary and rear chain oiler open too far? Even if the oilers are open too far the bike would be soaked with oil after 50 miles. Some of the oil may be settling to the bottom of the crankcase, check the oil level with the motor cold and then hot. If the level is low cold then high hot it's probably the oil pump alllowing oil to drain back into the crankcase when the bike sits.

Billy
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#4

Post by Billy » Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:05 am

Andy-
Any motor that I have seen "sumped" & was restarted instantly puked the oil out of the crankcase thru the breather tube, on the ground, everywhere.

PittsburghMike-
This to me is excessive as well. Either you're fouling the plugs from all the oil, or leaking, or pissing it out the oilers.
Which best describes your situation ?

ArizonaMike
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#5

Post by ArizonaMike » Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:07 am

Oh, I forgot to mention that the oil is coming out of the bottom of the primarys. Puddles a lot. Probably leaks out on the road as well. Somehow the breather's pushing too much oil out onto the primary chain. Hope this helps.

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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#6

Post by Jack_Hester » Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:21 am

Mike -

My first thought is to remove the gear cover, and check the breather timing. Sounds like way too much oil to suspect the chain oiler needle adjustment.

Jack

King
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#7

Post by King » Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:40 pm

Hi Mike

I'm with Jack on this one. That's way too much oil to comming from the oiler and the motor couldn't "burn" that much oil without terminally fouling the plugs.
When you get around to the belt conversion there are plenty of us that have gone that road and can help. For sure you dont want to shut off the breather and once you clear up your present problem and bottom the oiler screw there won't be that much oil getting loose. My solution was to form a "U" out of sweated together 1/2" copper line to route the breather out side of the primary case (I first tried a hose but it crimped) I just clamped it on to the breather pipe with a short section of plastic hose drilled a hole in the inside primary cover and let it shoot out on the ground. Seemed to work OK.

King

Plain
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#8

Post by Plain » Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:20 pm

Mike:

In addition to all of the above accurate comments I would add:

Check the oil pump check valve ball to make sure that it is sealing. And, I assume that you are not over filling the oil tank? Leaving at least one inch headroom? If not and you have too much oil in the tank it will flow down the vent line into the motor when the bike is sitting.

Plain

VintageTwin
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#9

Post by VintageTwin » Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:45 pm

You should only have five or 10 oil spots under your primary. If it's a puddlle, don't tighten the oil adj. screw too tight against the seat (my S&S pump is opened only less than one-eighth of a turn.) Remove the check ball from the pump (as already suggested) and check the ball for a ridge-line. If so, replace the ball. There is no tool made to dress the seat. Check the seat with a flashlight and mag. glass once you've sponged every drop of oil out of the tappet screen chamber. The check ball and seat are always under the head pressure from the oil in the tank.
The primary oiler can be eliminated, but the process involves 198 pix and words. All of which can be done at home. Soon to be published.
Yes, a motor uses A LOT of oil and fuel during the first 1,500 miles of break-in. Always check the oil tank level. Many a tank has run-low during break-in. Your problem sounds in part, to be over-oiling of the primary chain. Take it back to the mechanic, he has the last word.

Sidecar
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#10

Post by Sidecar » Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:52 pm

Mike,
Who are you using for a wrench !!!!????
Let me know so I don't accidentally go there for something.
This ain't normal & you better change mechanics quick !!!

Plain
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#11

Post by Plain » Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:31 pm

Well, I was biting my tongue, but I have to agree with Sidecar. The proper response to your mechanic's statement that "this is normal until the motor breaks itself in" would be to proceed as follows. Secure yourself a stout stick. A three foot section of shovel handle will do. Hunt down said mechanic and whilst soundly thwacking his noggin, repeatedly ask if he wishes to change his position on the leak being normal "until the motor breaks!".
You have something wrong with your sled. It could be as simple as a oil pump check ball not seating or oil siphoning down the vent line to something more complex like a breather out of time. You need to address it. Remember that lubrication is only one function of the oil. The other is cooling. Loose half your oil and the temperature of the engine is going to rise. Heat is the death of a Panhead.

Adios-----Plain

Cotten
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#12

Post by Cotten » Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:32 am

There is definitely a 'mechanic problem' here,.. and those rarely come alone.

Example: My of my best-tuned godchildren's owner called me with a problem out-of-State. But even with a telephone cure, the shop that the owner found for assistance decided to fix things unbroken.
The next telephone call was the owner wondering why the shop found the chainoiler "blocked". His next call was why he was leaving large puddles at every stopsign.
If your plugs are not fouling, then the chainoiler is immediately suspect. By probablilities, anyway.

ArizonaMike
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#13

Post by ArizonaMike » Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:18 am

(A false start there)

Thanks to all who wrote. The problem seems to have been fixed. I removed the nut on the chain oiler adjusting needle, then carefully screwed it in slowly, expecting it to stop any time--but it went in all the way!
I put some light Loctite on it and the puddling went away! Sure glad it was something simple.

VintageTwin
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#14

Post by VintageTwin » Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:23 am

S&S pump? Did you ever take the needle out to see if it was a real adjusting needle or just a common pan headed machine screw?
Also, Al Shuman @ S&S told me I ran the primary too dry; that the primary chain needed gobs of oil to keep it from stretching. I dislike oil hitting the pavement when I park it, so I felt better by buying the best chain I could find (Tsubaki shot-peened, pre-stretched) and starving it until it finally stretched to it's maximum limit after about 3,500 - 4,000 mi., which was just before the transmission lid would almost hit the battery plate.

Billy
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Re: Using 2 quarts in 50 miles

#15

Post by Billy » Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:43 am

Plumber-
Actually there are at least 2 different tools to fix check-ball seats.

(1) a Burnisher that Cotten had shared here & I made mine a year or so ago. That corrects the seats & is simple to make. & doesn't require pump removal.
Or messy lapping compound.
Excellent tool.....the stone is for 'dressing' the seat, removing imperfections, etc.. & the ball is for finishing the seat...

(2) And a specific carbibe cutter for the HD oil pump seats is at; & many other quality cutters & reamers,etc..
http://www.aerosharp.com/ skip Flash intro & "Click on Harley Davidson in RED"
10 seconds & it's done, by hand... Perfect Seat !!!!!!
Pump must be removed & cleaned afterwards. This for the worst of the worst seats.
Another Excellent tool.

Pittsburgh Mike, glad it was simple.
You do have a good HD Service manual for this little stuff don't you ??
You need one if you don't.
Why don't you join the forum & you can correct your "False Starts" Having a Pan & a site like this is very helpful..

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